One of the extra functions that the Secret Service gets to engage in every four years is to protect presidential candidates from harm as they campaign around the nation engaging in public gatherings and talking with voters. In 2016, though, this got reversed when the Secret Service had to protect someone else from being harmed by one of the presidential candidates — one Donald J. Trump.
During a Trump campaign rally, MSNBC reporter Katy Tur was one of many members of the press in attendance covering the proceedings. The problem for Katy and her crew was that Trump had a grudge with her, and he decided to air it publicly because that’s what a totally mature adult like him does.
Trump had previously been very critical of Tur for the grave sin of factually reporting on protests at one of Trump’s earlier rallies. He called her “dishonest” and publicly demanded that she apologize, which she flat out refused to do. Her refusal meant, of course, that he had to attack her more.
During the rally where she had her close call, Trump started things in motion when saw her from the stage and pointed her out to the crowd, saying “What a lie. Katy Tur. What a lie it was. Third. Rate. Reporter. Remember that.”
Tur described what happened next. The crowd in attendance quickly turned on her “like a large animal, angry and unchained.”
It got so bad that the secret service actually had to put their primary job of protecting the candidate on hold. They ended up surrounding Tur and her colleagues to protect them from physical harm at the hands of the crowd that Trump just sent after them, before escorting them from the rally for their own safety.
Trump’s personal history of angrily lashing out at anyone in the media who criticizes him is well known. Many reporters and media outlets have been barred from attending his events, including large and well-known publications like The New York Times, Politico, and Telemundo. They all did the one thing that you aren’t allowed to do — speak truthfully about Trump.
In this case, we had a female reporter set upon by a mob of angry, possibly non-sober rednecks and racists who could have done God knows what to her and her colleagues. Just imagine what Trump would try to do to our media if he actually won.
There hasn’t been an armed takeover of a newspaper lately in America, but I wouldn’t say it should be unexpected were he to be seated in the oval office. It could be followed by the armed kidnapping of reporters out of the White House press room if they asked “the wrong questions.”
Featured image via Talking Points Memo